£20m Money Laundering Plot
THREE people appeared before Cheltenham magistrates yesterday charged in connection with an alleged £20m money laundering plot. Chen Feng, 30, and Jia Jun He, 27, of Argyll Road, London, and Man Xu, 30, of Brackenfield Close, London, stand charged of conspiring to convert criminal property. A 1,200 plant cannabis factory was discovered in three Gloucester houses by police in May, the court heard. In a separate incident, illegal immigrants were found working at a Chinese takeaway in the city in March. Both incidents concerned a lengthy investigation across the country – allegedly involving counterfeit tobacco, brothels and cannabis. Prosecutor Ros Jones said there were links to a bank account of a company called World Travel Services. She told the court an examination allegedly showed most of the money was regularly being transferred to China. "The prosecution say this money is the proceeds of crime from drug trafficking, from counterfeit goods, from prostitution and human trafficking," she added. She said in excess of £20m had allegedly gone through the account and out to China between 2008 and this year. The defendants were remanded in custody to appear at Gloucester Crown Court on September 1.

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